Thredbo to Tharwa itinerary

A forum for discussing the Australian Alps Walking Track. This is a 655 km long track from Walhalla (Vic) to Tharwa (ACT)

Thredbo to Tharwa itinerary

Postby IDP » Wed 10 Jul, 2019 8:27 am

Hi all,
I have a couple of weeks early next year and am planning a solo walk Thredbo-Tharwa and would particularly appreciate thoughts on the first part of itinerary (Thredbo to Jagungal) below.

Contexts:
• Timing: Given transport options to Thredbo from Canberra (where I’ll leave my car) – see thread http://bushwalk.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=36&t=29691 – will be during school term (i.e. therefore early February-March)
• Duration: not that important (i.e. I have the luxury of not needing to rush)
• Main objectives: keen to climb as many of the 2000m mountains on the Main Range as possible (prob only missing those around Charlotte Pass and Perisher) and also to spend time looking around the area south and east of Mt Jagungal
• I’ll build in a bad weather continency day or two/three for the Main Range/Jagungal areas as I have little interest in retreating to the roads (Charlotte Pass-Guthega) nor the fire/management trails (Guthega-north of Jagungal) if can be avoided
• I'll do a food drop at Kiandra
• Happy just to wander along the northern section (i.e. Kiandra to Tharwa) as I’ve never been to that part of the park
• I’m a pretty experienced extended trip walker in Qld, Tas, NSW and Vic

Planned itinerary:
1. Thredbo to overnight at Wilkinsons Creek or Townsend
- via DHG, South Ramshead/Rams Head/Rams Head North then Townsend/Alice Rawson/Abbotts/Byatt
2. Wilkinsons or Townsend to overnight at Anton/Anderson saddle or Consett Stephen Pass
- including Clarke, Little Twynam and Watsons Crags
3. Anton/Anderson saddle or Consett Stephen Pass to overnight at Schlink Hilton
- via Rolling Ground and Dicky Cooper Bogong – shortish day
4. Schlink to overnight at Mawsons Hut
- via Gungartan, Tin Hut, Brassy Mountains
5. Mawsons Hut to overnight at Cesjacks Hut
- via Bluff Tarn, Tarn Bluff, McAlister Saddle, Doubtful Creek – shortish day therefore may wander up some of the Kerries in morning first
6. Cesjacks Hut to overnight at O’Keefes or Mackeys Hut
- via Jagungal Saddle/Toolong Range/Mt Jagungal/north ridge down)
7. Thereafter prob just follow “standard” Chapman AAWT route/itinerary for the remainder of the trip to Tharwa (but will include Blue Waterholes for a look and Bimberi Peak)

Any comments or thoughts on the Main Range/Jagungal areas or indeed thereafter appreciated
IDP
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Re: Thredbo to Tharwa itinerary

Postby Bushwalker99 » Thu 11 Jul, 2019 5:53 pm

For your stage 7 it might be worth visiting Broken Dam hut and Four Mile hut. Short side trips but both nice huts in pleasant settings. 5 of us did the full AAWT walk 5 years ago and your overall plan looks good. If there is horrible weather on the Main Range you may want to drop down a bit early to Whites River hut and then resume your planned route. Have a great time!
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Re: Thredbo to Tharwa itinerary

Postby crollsurf » Thu 11 Jul, 2019 7:26 pm

That's a cruisy stroll across the main range but if the weather is good, it would be awesome. I walked Tharwa to Thredbo a few years ago. I don't normally do big k's in a day but to give you an idea, Mawson to Consett S Pass in a day and then to Dead Horse the following day. Would have preferred to spend a night at Byatts but the weather was on the way in. And the thought of Pizza and beer was a driving force

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Re: Thredbo to Tharwa itinerary

Postby IDP » Fri 12 Jul, 2019 11:56 am

Thanks to both for taking the time to reply.

Re "stage" 7: yes, I hadn't put much detail in regarding this.
The broad intention was
7. O'Keefes or Mackeys Hut to Happys Hut
8. Happy Hut to Four Mile Hut (including Tabletop Mt)
9. Four Mile Hut to Witzes Hut
10. Witzes Hut to Hainsworth Hut
11. Hainsworth Hut to Blue Waterholes (including look around the gorges/caves)
12. Blue Waterholes to Murry Gap (including Bimberi Peak)
13. Murray Gap to Orroal River
14. Orroral River to Tharwa
Some of these sections are pretty short. Whilst I am easily able to walk up to 30k/day, I have the time up my sleeve, so why hurry. Also gives me capacity for contingency days on the Main Range/Jagungal sections.

Re itinerary over Main Range:
As above - I have no need to hurry and keen to do tick off as many 2K mountains off in one trip (though I've done many before on shorter trips).
Re comping on Byatts or elsewhere on Abbott Range - if weather is good, that sounds like a nice plan (rather than Wilkinsons). Is there water nearby (noting that I'll be there in February sometime)?

Also any comments on the Jagungal part (i.e. (a) Schlink to Mawsons (via Gungartan/Tin Hut/Brassys); (b) Mawsons to Cesjacks (via Tarn Bluff/McAlisters); then (c) Cesjacks to O'Keefes or Mackeys (via Toolong Range and Jagungal)
Any good variations to this?

Thanks again
IDP
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Re: Thredbo to Tharwa itinerary

Postby Lophophaps » Sat 13 Jul, 2019 4:51 pm

The weather will determine if the Main Range and to a lesser extent any section is viable. I've had three consecutive summer days on the Main Range when walking was impossible or very unpleasant.

Due to a lot of people camping in Wilkinson Valley the water is suss, so take something to treat the water. Camp high if you can.

At Tate go on the track near the top, then on the ridge to level with Consett Stephen Pass. The ridge has a faint track and it's open. There's a track from the Tate Ridge east to the Rolling Ground side. and it then peters out. The route over Granite Peaks is brilliant. At Dicky Copper go eastish on the plateau to the edge, then SE, east and NE in a curve to avoid the rocks above Schlink Pass. if you have time and the weather is good, go up to Gungartan where there's a good campsite in a hollow on the east side of the summit, protected on three sides. Water is a bit of a step from here.

You could go Tin Hut-Brassies-Cesjacks and thus avoid river crossings. If you have time and the weather is good, divert to Jagungal either as a side trip or carry a pack over. Descent is north to the weather station or east on the Toolong Range to Cesjacks. The north route keeps well above the creek all the way to the road.

If the creeks are high, avoid the Doubtful by cutting north from Cesjacks. If you go Gungartan-Tin-Cesjacks-AAWT east of Mackays then there are no river crossings.

There's a viable route from the Dr Philips Hut Site north over the plains, but it's a bit boggy. Keep to the east and hit the Happys Hut track just east of Happy Jacks Creek, which can be a bit wide to jump lower. Another option is to go up Arsenic Ridge. There's a bridge at the start. This brings you out at the Boltons Hill Trail.

Happys Hut to Four Mile Hut is quite a short day, even with a side-trip to Tabletop. The camping at Four Mile Hut is not good, a bit sloping and in a frost hollow. It may be possible to get from Broken Dam Hut to Four Mile Hut. Hainsworth camping did not appeal much either.
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Re: Thredbo to Tharwa itinerary

Postby IDP » Mon 15 Jul, 2019 7:40 am

Thanks for the advice. That is great.

Hoping with the luxury of a few contingency days, I'll get some windows of decent weather on the Main Range and around Jagungal.

I am aware of the popularity of Wilkinson Creek and the attendant potential problems of faecal contamination of the water supply. Was wondering (clearly weather-dependent) whether it is easy enough to find some modicum of shelter anywhere on the Abbott Range (on or either side of Townsend) and the likely distance to water (note I'll be there in early February).

The advice re the possibility of cutting to the AAWT east of Mackays from Cesjacks is good and something that I had been considering.

And yes, similarly Arsenic Ridge.

Thanks also advice re Four Mile and Hainsworth Huts. Will factor that in.

Much appreciated
IDP
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Re: Thredbo to Tharwa itinerary

Postby Mark F » Mon 15 Jul, 2019 11:30 am

There is a nice sheltered spot just south of Townsend with water. It should be obvious with a quick glance at a map but I would treat any water around Townsend.The gap between Abbott and Townsend can be a real wind tunnel.

Another route I have looked at on the map but not yet walked is to divert from the Grey Mare Trail along the Doubtful Gap Trail, then drop down to Boobee Hut and then off track to the bottom of Arsenic Ridge near where Tibeaudo Creek runs into Happy Jacks Creek.
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Re: Thredbo to Tharwa itinerary

Postby north-north-west » Mon 15 Jul, 2019 12:05 pm

Just make sure you don't camp (or toilet) in the Albina Catchment. Basically that means keep below the pad out to Townsend from Mueller Pass.
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Re: Thredbo to Tharwa itinerary

Postby Lophophaps » Mon 15 Jul, 2019 2:19 pm

Mark, there are spots high on the peaks near Townsend, but the water is suss everywhere. In general, the higher the better. The Boobee variation is nice. The 4WD track goes steeply Doubtful Gap, then a bit of a slog over buttongrass to Boobee Hut, which can be hard to find. From the hut it's flat going east to the road. The edge of the trees is easier walking than the middle of the valley.
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Re: Thredbo to Tharwa itinerary

Postby north-north-west » Mon 15 Jul, 2019 3:27 pm

Lophophaps wrote:The edge of the trees is easier walking than the middle of the valley.

Or the middle of the trees.
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Re: Thredbo to Tharwa itinerary

Postby Lophophaps » Tue 16 Jul, 2019 7:39 am

north-north-west wrote:
Lophophaps wrote:The edge of the trees is easier walking than the middle of the valley.

Or the middle of the trees.

But of course! I knew I should have walked around the trees instead of into them. Many thanks.
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